March 2, 2021 5:50:26 am
THE third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive for citizens above 60 years of age and those within the age bracket of 45 to 59 years with specified co-morbidities began at 18 sites in Chandigarh, including five private facilities, on Monday morning.
To ensure a smooth process, Dr Amandeep Kang, Director, Health Services, had issued instructions to all hospital vaccination sites to promote on-spot registration on March 1, as online registrations could take time on the newly launched Co-WIN 2 portal.
As many as 493 citizens above the age of 60 received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on the first day of the third phase of the vaccination drive, and 63 people in the age group of 45 to 60 years (with co-morbidities), opted for the vaccine.
The vaccination programme got a big thrust when the first citizen of Chandigarh, Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore, took the first dose of the vaccine at Sector 7 dispensary. After this, the Governor appealed to the residents of the city to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest, so that the transmission of COVID-19 infection in the city can be halted.
Prominent citizens above 60 years of age, including, N P S Aulakh, former DGP Punjab, Harmol Singh Gill, former DGP UP, Amarjot Singh Gill, former DGP Rajasthan, P C Dogra, former DGP Punjab, Sarvesh Kaushal, former Chief Secretary Punjab, Krishan Mohan, former Home Secretary UT Chandigarh, Roop Aulakh, former DPI (Colleges) Punjab and other senior citizens of the city got their first dose after on-spot registration. The beneficiaries at most of the sites utilised the facility of on-spot registration and the number of private hospitals will be upgraded to nine, March 2 onwards.
According to officials, there were minor glitches in the Co-WIN 2 portal initially which were rectified and the processes got smoother as the day progressed. Dr Kang said a total of 1,721 people were vaccinated on Monday and she is sure that the vaccination drive will gain pace in the coming days.
At the PGIMER, 23 people in the age group of 45 to 59 years received the first dose of the vaccine, and 13 senior citizens also opted for the COVID-19 vaccine. Among the senior citizens, 90-year-old Inder Kumar Sanan, a resident of Sector 11, was upbeat about the availability of vaccine for the general public, and said that he felt absolutely fit after inoculation, encouraging everyone to opt for it. His wife Prabha says that initially they were a bit apprehensive, but the doctors encouraged them to take the vaccine.
“We both are doing well, had no pain, fever or any other effects, and I have been calling all my relatives to have no fear and go for the vaccine,” says Prabha, who also got a shot.
Som Prakash, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, took the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at PGI, and appealed to all those eligible to opt for the vaccine and make India COVID-19 free. Prof. Surinder S. Pandav, Chairman, COVID-19 Vaccination Committee at PGIMER said that the drive will pick pace once people begin registrations on the Co-WIN 2 portal and PGI will have an exclusive site for the vaccination of the general public by March 3 and urged citizens to come forward for the third phase.
The third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive was initiated successfully at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh. On-spot registration and vaccination of the eligible age group of citizens was done and this included 47 citizens above 60 years, including 88-year-old Manohar Lal. Six citizens between 45 and 59 years, with co-existing diseases as defined by the Government of India also received the first dose of the vaccine. After a few hiccups in the initial few minutes of the CO-WIN 2.0 launch, the vaccination programme did not experience any issues. According to hospital authorities, citizens must be aware of a waiting time of 30 to 60 minutes for vaccination.
“When we came to the Hospital at about 8.30 am, 15 people above the 60 plus age group were already waiting to get registered for the vaccination and in a couple of hours, there were more than 30 walk-ins, so yes, it has been a very positive response at GMSH 16,” shares Dr. Paramjit Singh, the deputy medical superintendent here, adding that to avoid crowding and waiting time, he recommends that people must get themselves registered on the new Co-WIN 2 portal and accordingly come to the hospital. As many as 109 senior citizens received the COVID-19 vaccination here, including 82-year-old Dr K K Khurana, a senior physician, who was formerly at the PGI. “I was waiting for this day, and I feel it is very important that we opt for the vaccine to prevent the spread of infection.”
Jagdeep Chadha, who runs a store in Sector 17 and is 66, was here with his wife Ratna for the vaccine and says they are fortunate that they could get the vaccine without facing any issues on the first day itself, “Everyone must opt for it, without any fear,” says Chadha. Waiting for her turn, 86-year-old Dr. Chugh says she can have no fear, as she has vaccinated hundreds of people and has seen the benefits. “We should respect science. This is a preventive medicine for us and we must come forward to get the vaccine,” says 63-year-old Padma Pandey, who had walked in to register.
Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman of Federation of Sectors Welfare Associations of Chandigarh, said that they had received a call from a private hospital, saying that if 25 people of various RWAs are ready to get vaccinated, the hospital would provide the facility at the doorstep, at a charge of Rs 250 each. Vinod Vashisht, convener of CFORWO, said, “It was a lukewarm response on the first day of the Covid vaccination drive for the general public. It may be due to confusion that registration can also be done through a CoWIN mobile app, which was later clarified by the Union Ministry of Health that registrations for appointment for Covid vaccination can only be done online at cowin.gov.in portal and there is no app for beneficiary registrations. Hope numbers will increase in the coming days.”
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